Christiana spoke to us about having true joy, how the cross has helped her forgive others, and cementing your identity in Christ.
Inspiring Biblical Passage Of The Moment: Psalm 143:8, which says, “Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning, for in thee do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my soul unto thee.”
Spiritual Growth Focus: For the past couple of months, I have been really focusing on having a joyful spirit and willing heart no matter what God asks of me, or what His will is for me. It’s a daily struggle, and things don’t always go my way. Retaining my joy is something I used to struggle with, and I would usually fail, but I have learned that my joy comes from Jesus, and He alone can supply true happiness. That is the main inspiration for my Instagram profile, @JoyfullyChristiana. I have a desire to be joyful every day, no matter what.
“I have learned that my joy comes from Jesus, and He alone can supply true happiness.”
Profession: Blogger, designer, small business owner.
A Once Sentence Bio: I’m just an average girl with an amazing God, who has found forgiveness and grace and it is my desire that others see Jesus in me, not me in me.
When Did you First Encounter God?
I had been saved at age 11. But I had not really strongly pursued a full relationship with God.
Several years later, I was going through a hell of sorts.
My heart had been broken, and I was in a state of depression and constant stress. I cried myself to sleep every night and lost ten pounds, due to depression. I couldn’t imagine why I was going through what I was going through, but it was in that deepest of valleys that I understood the promise, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
I cried out to God in my time of greatest need and heartbreak, and He was there. He was always there for me, and I knew that He had broken me to bring me to Him. He crushed my heart and glued it back together with grace.
“I knew that He had broken me to bring me to Him. He crushed my heart and glued it back together with grace.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Well, I think that this kind of goes along with the last question. When I realized how much I had been neglecting God and taking Him for granted, I was broken. Since then, I have gotten so much closer to Him though His word and prayer, and other books that I have gotten into have really helped to bring me to a new level of spirituality.
Just read/reading: I just finished reading When Dreams Come True by Eric and Leslie Ludy. It is a beautiful story of their love and journey to purity, and how God helped them to realize the importance of saving yourself for the one he has for you.
Top 3 Essentials: My Bible, my coffee, and warm sweaters. And natural light, braids and flowers and long conversations. Sorry, that’s way more than three.
How did God Speak to you recently? Wow. Well, I had a recent disappointment that really crushed me, and I was just searching for answers and calling out to God for help and direction.
Sometimes He’s almost audible, and this was one of those times. I was struggling with forgiving someone who hurt me, even though they didn’t mean to. And it was like God said, “Think about what Jesus went through on the cross for YOU.”
So I started to ponder all the things Jesus took on Himself because He loved me. He knew my sins. He knew my thoughts, my heart, my faults, my failures, but He still chose the cross over His own physical freedom and comfort.
That taught me that no matter what anyone does to hurt me, I will still be able to love them and forgive them because that’s what Jesus did for me. If I had pounded the nails myself, He would have loved me still, and that is why I believe in forgiveness.
“He knew my thoughts, my heart, my faults, my failures, but He still chose the cross over His own physical freedom and comfort.”
Hobby? I love to play my violin, and I do a bit of calligraphy, as well as writing for two blogs!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
1. Understanding that your identity is in Jesus, not your friends or the acceptance so many young people strive for. You don’t get your identity from who you date, you get it from Jesus.
2. Spend time in personal devotions, as well as talking about your faith with friends. I have found that I grow more in my spiritual life when I am engaged in conversation about what I believe.
3. Maintain your prayer life. This is something that I haven’t always done, but when I make a strong effort to have a prayer life, I see noticeable differences in my relationship with God. I feel more close to Him and stronger in my faith.
Favorite Person In Scripture: That’s a tough one. I would have to go with Esther because she wasn’t afraid of taking a leap of faith and going after what God laid on her heart to do. She was a strong woman, and I aspire to have the kind of faith she had. Esther loved her people and took it upon herself to save them, and I want to have that kind of love for the people in my life, that I would care enough to put myself on the line for them.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want people to see that even when things aren’t going the way they want them to go, it’s possible to have joy and fulfillment in Jesus. I want girls to see that it’s okay to not be in a relationship, and that real lasting joy can be found in only Jesus.
Favorite Season: I have to say spring and fall, I can’t really pick a favorite.
Favorite Holiday: I really love Christmas!
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Well, every year on Christmas morning my mom makes cinnamon rolls, and we all sit around, drinking coffee and reading the Christmas story from the Bible before opening gifts.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Wow, I think I will have to ask Jonah if he ever got over his bitterness. I have always wanted to know the rest of the story. . .
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I am not really involved in any movement to raise awareness for anything, but I think I have to say that I want women to be aware of the amazing design God has for us and the potential that we have to change the world. I think that the feminist movement has done more damage than good, and if women only knew the amazing purpose that they have, whole new worlds of opportunity would open up to them.
“I want women to be aware of the amazing design God has for us and the potential that we have to change the world.”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? I usually get up around 7 or a little before, depending on when the sunrise shines into my room. I make a french press of coffee and do my devotions first thing. I pray and sometimes journal a little. I usually light a candle on my nightstand to help set a good mood for the rest of my day!
Define Christianity in one sentence: Christianity is the essence of love, the personification of grace, and the blind faith that leads those who follow into the glorious light of the Son.
For more Christiana:
Blog: Joyfully Christiana
Christiana also regularly contributes to: Handfuls of Purpose
Until next time, keep witnessing!
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